Bhubaneswar: Former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda joined the BJP on Monday.
“Nine months of introspection & widespread consultations w/colleagues & public. Grateful for support recd from all over. On auspicious #MahaShivratri I’ve decided to join @BJP4India & work under the leadership of @narendramodi Ji to serve Odisha & India to the best of my ability,” tweeted Panda.
The industrialist-politician, who represented Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat till his resignation from Lok Sabha last year, joined the saffron party in the presence party chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradahn, Odisha party unit chief Basant Panda at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
Panda was first suspended from the BJD by its president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 24 last year for alleged anti party activities.
He subsequently resigned from the party as well as Lok Sabha in May and June last year, respectively out of humiliation after none of the ruling party members, including the Chief Minister visited his house to pay last respect to his father and noted industrialist Bansidhar Panda.
Panda has been at the receiving end of the four-time Chief Minister Patnaik’s displeasure after he called for ‘introspection’ in the wake of BJP’s sterling performance in 2017 three-tire panchayat elections in the State. Since Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, Panda has been heaping praise on him while questioning Patnaik’s working style and dependence on certain non-Odia bureaucrats through newspaper articles.
He has been an MP for 18 years. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 on BJD tickets and had been a Rajya Sabha member from 2000 to 2009.